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Foley not only option: O'Gara

RONAN O'GARA has called on Munster to leave no stone unturned in search of a replacement for outgoing coach Tony McGahan.

After Munster's shock exit from the Heineken Cup last weekend, attention has turned to who will manage the Reds next year.

"I've heard rumblings (of the contenders to replace McGahan) but I haven't put any great thought into it because I thought there was an awful lot left in this season," said O'Gara.

"It's come into my mind in the last 24 hours. You'd hope they trawl the world for the best possible coach."

While forwards coach Anthony Foley is widely tipped to take over from the Australian, O'Gara pointed out that "everything has to be considered" in making the appointment rather than presuming the replacement is on Munster's doorstep.

"It'd be easy to presume that (Foley to replace McGahan) but it's such a big job, the right decision has to be made. It would appeal to a lot of coaches. It's interesting.


"Joe Schmidt was a backs coach but he's raved about now in Irish rugby. Tony McGahan wouldn't have had much pedigree before coming over here, but he was very good. It's important to have the right man.

"You have to take the best option. Everything has to be considered in terms of what's being filled here.

"Axel (Anthony Foley) may well be the best candidate, but you're placing your trust in these people to ensure they have examined every possible situation to come up with the best possible coach. That's what's needed."

Meanwhile, Munster number eight James Coughlan has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

He will undergo surgery tomorrow after fracturing a bone in his left hand in the game against Ulster, and so he will miss Munster's remaining games in the RaboDirect PRO12 League run-in.

Initial reports suggest he could be forced into a rehabilitation period of 6-8 weeks.